Sports

Around the Seawall: Pete Carroll's new contract; the Blue Jays and Ervin Santana; Paulina Gretzky vs the LPGA

Pete Carroll and Richard Sherman embrace on the Seattle Seahawks
Pete Carroll and Richard Sherman embrace on the Seattle Seahawks' sideline during Super Bowl XLVIII in New Jersey. Seattle beat Denver 43-8 to win the franchise's first championship.
— image credit: Wikimedia Commons (author Anthony Quintano)

*Around the Seawall is a sometimes functioning blog and rundown of the day's sporting events, from inside the province of B.C. and out...

Pete Carroll signs 3-year extension with Seattle

Congratulations to Seattle's hug-happy coach Pete Carroll, who signed a three-year extension to keep him in Seahawks teal for a run at three more Super Bowl. I mean, we're that optimistic now, right?

And congrats to our own family member, the Seattle Weekly and writer Matt Driscoll, for nicely summing up Carroll's career to this point.

A joke in New England (where he was the Patriots' head coach from 1997-1999), he became a contentious hire at USC, where he was the coach of the heralded Trojans from 2000 to 2009. Of course, he led them to three national championships, teaming quarterback Matt Leinart with running back Reggie Bush and an onslaught of capable receivers to form one of the most explosive teams in college football history. He left before the decade could end, just before the NCAA hit the University of Southern California with sanctions stemming from Carroll's time as coach, when the athletic program in Pasadena was "out-of-control", according to people who might know such things. And then, taking the job with the Seahawks – one of the Pacific Northwest's many ignored professional franchises – Carroll entered a state where he was hated, if you were a Washington Huskies fan or a WSU Cougars fan.

But of course, Carroll's now a winner. The goofball with the antics not fit for Beantown – Bill Simmons wrote, "The Pete Carroll era finally answers the question of why Fredo was never given control of the Corleone family" in 2001 – is a champion again, and for the first time in the big leagues.

Like a fine wine, he aged well.

And this little girl's a fan, too:

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Toronto. Unselfish, much?

Word is, five prominent Toronto Blue Jays were willing to give up salary to help the team sign pitcher Ervin Santana.

Here's Sportsnet's Shi Davidi's rundown (link above):

"When the Toronto Blue Jays couldn't come up with the money to sign Ervin Santana last month, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Reyes, Jose Bautista, Mark Buehrle and R.A. Dickey stepped up deliver the cash, multiple sources told Sportsnet on Friday.

"The five players told general manager Alex Anthopoulos that they would each defer portions of their salary in order to cover all of the $14 million that the free agent right-hander was seeking in a one-year deal."

Of course, it didn't work out and Santana signed with Atlanta instead... for the same amount of money.

And, of course, there's no promise it would have flown with the MLBPA, because the unions that watch over these things don't really like it when their players drop money or act, you know, unselfishly. They're scabs, right?

Even if it came together for Toronto's sake, it's unlikely it would have been pulled off, writes FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal:

"It was as if the Toronto Blue Jays passed around a hat, trying to collect enough money to sign free-agent right-hander Ervin Santana.

"Any deferrals would have required the approval of the players' union, which frowns upon players giving up a contractual benefit – in this case, up-front money – without receiving a benefit of comparable value in return. The players would have been paid the same amounts if they had deferred money but at later dates."

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"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take..."

Paulina Gretzky made headlines, no doubt, for her cover on Golf Digest, and for her spread in the same Golf Digest. It looks like this, if you didn't know:

Apparently, Paulina's expression of who she is has bothered a couple LPGA players, like American former No. 1 Stacy Lewis:

"It's frustrating for female golfers... It's kind of the state of where we've always been. We don't get respect for being the golfers that we are. Obviously, Golf Digest is trying to sell magazines. But at the same time you'd like to see a little respect for the women's game."

With all due respect to Lewis – and, I of course will admit that I'm not the kind of person who would be offended by any of Gretzky's photos, because I'm not a woman – and with all due respect to her opinion on things, that's a bit of a reach.

Clearly, Digest is going for a certain demographic when the show the future Mrs. Dustin Johnson in a bra in their centrefold. And clearly, you can debate whether it's necessary or not.

But it's not like anyone is looking at Gretzky and saying to themselves, "Oh, that LPGA is really stupid" because of what Paulina is doing.

Does the LPGA get very much respect? No, it doesn't.

But, did it get more respect when women like Holly Sonders or LPGA pros Paula Creamer or Natalie Gulbis were posing for similar photos?

Nope.

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